Le Mans 24 Hours organisers announce new compact schedule

Le Mans 24 Hours
Le Mans 24 Hours
FRED TANNEAU / AFP

Organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours announced on Wednesday a new "compact" four-day schedule for this year's edition held over from June to 19-20 September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which runs the iconic endurance event say they acted to cut down team costs at a time of economic hardship as a result of Covid-19.

After the routine pre-race technical inspection, the 62 cars will "take to the circuit on Thursday for free practice, a qualifying round that night, then on Friday further practice and the conclusion of qualifying," ACO explained.

The 88th Le Mans will then start on Saturday at 1330GMT, finishing 24 hours later.

Traditionally race-related activities stretch over a week.

In another break from tradition, pole position will be determined by a new 'Hyperpole' session when the first six places on the grid will be determined for each of the four categories - LMP1, LMP2, LMGTE Pros and Ams.

ACO said they would make a further announcement on 30 June about plans for spectators for a race which normally draws a crowd of 100 000 die-hard motorsport fans to the Sarthe circuit.

The Le Mans 24-hour motorcycling endurance race, scheduled for 29-30 August, is being held behind closed doors.

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